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Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale) - Heavy Seas Beer

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Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale)
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BA SCORE
86
very good

840 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 840
Reviews: 492
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 31
Gots: 27 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pezoids on 02-17-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 840 | Reviews: 492 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +5%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of smcolw
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good starting head but it dies a little too quickly; very little lace. Light brown color, reasonably clear.

Dark crystal malt aroma--slightly sweet. Great hop kick at the end.

On the dry side (surprising, considering the smell). Full bodied, but not quite creamy. Peppery hop swallow and aftertaste. There's a dry darker malt flavor that comes out in the aftertaste. Great complexity and blend of flavors.

smcolw, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

oriolesfan4, Nov 09, 2012
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours brilliantly clear, with no sediment at all (despite claims to the contrary on the label). The beer is topped by a frothy, initially three-finger thick, creamy-tan colored head. The aroma is nice and hoppy with a berry like hop note as well as a herbaceaus, sometimes grassy note to it. Behind this is a dry, biscuit-like malt character that at times smells like fresh from the oven bread crust. The hop character is definitely the dominant note in the aroma though.

Quite sweet, this really amplifies that berry note from the aroma. Flavors of sweet citrus are also found here. The beer is not quite as thick as the sweetness might suggest; it is certainly chewy, with lots of caramelized malt sugars. It seems to lean towards simpler malt sugars that are more directly sweet, but alot of the percieved sweetness could be an amplification of the fruity hop notes. There are some nice sharp notes here as well and these provide some balance to the hop fruit notes and the sweet malt. Green, herbal hop notes and a solid bitterness add notes of astringecy to the flavor profile that is quite nice.

A touch of hot alcohol is noticeable at times, but it is fairly hidden and seems to be brought out a bit by the sharp, herbal hop notes. This is quite an impressive hop focussed beer. I am really quite pleased by the quality of the two hop monster's I have had from this brewery.

Gueuzedude, Mar 22, 2007
Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +5%

InspectorBob, May 21, 2013
Photo of GClarkage
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

07/08/07- Received as a gift from BA Lou91.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with a best by strip on the side of the label. A year and a couple months past...uh oh! Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Caramel brown colored pour, almost and inch head and light lace trails prevail.

Smell- A light pine and grapefruit hop nose with a mild and sweet soft toasted malt scent.

Taste- Hmmm, tastes pretty good. Really light on the hops though. Possibly 'cause it's a year plus past it's time. Very mild grapefruit hops which is followed by a very sweet caramel toasted malt base. Almost sticky sweet. Pretty yummy though.

Mouthfeel- Sticky and a little fuller mouthfeel and mid range carbonation.

Drinkability- Rated it a bit higher because it tasted really good, even though it wasn't exactly to style. Maybe a pale ale would have been better.

GClarkage, Jul 09, 2007
Photo of Gavage
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark amber color with a nice 2" fluffy head with a few big bubbles. Mild lacing develops through the drink.

Smell: easily detectable floral hops and citrus.

Taste: the malt level is quite up front, as caramel and roasted tones are strong but nicely balanced with grapefruits and an average bitterness which does not overwhelm. Alcohol is barely noticeable.

Mouthfeel: mainly smooth with a light crispness and finishes dry. Medium bodied.

Drinkabilty: this does not overwhelm the tastebuds, and several of these can be quaffed in a session. Not great, but enjoyable and worth seeking out.

Gavage, Feb 14, 2006
Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev +5%

wrightst, Aug 08, 2014
Photo of yourefragile
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

yourefragile, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of orangesol
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

orangesol, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of woodychandler
4.8/5  rDev +26%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Back on The Bottle Beat, thanks to my regular trade buddy, tone77.

I was impressed by the two rocky fingers of light-tan head that I got off of my pour. Not only was it markedly different than the fizzy head that I usually see from AmeriCAN Adjunct Lagers, but its retention was fabulous. Color was a deep coppery-amber with ruby highlights and NE-quality clarity. Nose was initially big with malt, but there was also a good bit of piney hops in the mix. Yum! Mouthfeel was medium with a wild juxtaposition of caramel sweetness and pine hops on the tongue. Dang, but this was really good and wayyyy too smooth. I could see putting a couple of these away before I even knew what had happened. Finish was more hoppy than malty, but it was the interplay between the two that really made this a unique beer. I really should not pooh-pooh bottled beers the way that I had been. I would drink this pretty routinely during the winter.

woodychandler, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of duceswild
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

duceswild, Nov 01, 2014
Photo of corby112
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, slightly hazy golden amber/chestnut brown color with a thin fizzy yellow head that quickly fades. Not much in the way of lacing.

Bland aroma with some slightly roasted malt notes, subtle hops and sweet alcohol.

Nicely balanced medium body with some caramel malt and hazelnut countering a bitter earthy hop presence. The hop bitterness is pretty tame and not too overpowering but lasts throughout. The ABV is pretty well masked with only some slight alcohol warmth.

corby112, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of dbrauneis
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a clear dark garnet red in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some copper + cola brown highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall foamy sudsy light tan head that quickly reduces to a medium sized mottled very thin film and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of citrus/orange rind hops, toasted nutty malts, and fruity yeast.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted malts with a light amount of nuttiness as well as a light amount of toffee sweetness. There is a slightly stronger than moderate amount of citrus/orange rind hops that contribute a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness. Hints of alcohol in the finish as well.

M: Medium bodied with slightly more than moderate amounts of carbonation. Slight amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: An interesting take on an ESB - much hoppier than any of the others that I have tried. Slightly too much alcohol and that alcohol is not well enough hidden for me. Probably would not grab another one of these but it can definitely be enjoyed.

dbrauneis, Apr 03, 2014
Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer sampled, label has area for freshness dating, but no matter how close I look, nothing has been notched/marked, oh well. This one pours a nice glowing orangy amber, white tiny bubble head/film and respectable lacing. Nose is a citrusy/resiny blend. Barely respectable DIPA. Ratings seem high to me, as this one is sort of mushy body wise. This is a decent IPA ,but Double? C'mon get real. Could be more firm and crisp to get a higher rating from me. Does have a nice hoppy finish (not the crunch to be expected from a top DIPA however) and lots of caramel malts. This is the best offering I can recall trying from Clipper City

Billolick, Mar 04, 2005
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish amber with a fairly thin head and spotty lacing.

Smells malty and a little sharp, with sweetness throughout.

Tastes malty and a little thin, but with a nice hop bitterness up front and a fruity pleasant sweetness on the finish.

Smooth, but a little thin.

Fairly drinkable, with a nice flavor, but nothing remarkable.

Georgiabeer, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before April 2013. Pours slightly hazy ruby red color with a 1 finger fairly dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of raisin, pear, caramel, toast, brown bread, floral, light pepper, light toffee, and toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of raisin, pear, caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, floral, pepper, pine, light nuttiness, and earthy spiciness. Good amount of spicy pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of light fruits, caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, floral, pepper, pine, and earthy spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and fruity ester flavors; with a good hop balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a creamy and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice imperial ESB style. Nice complexity of malt/fruity notes with hop balance; and quite smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

superspak, Apr 25, 2013
Photo of ejimhof
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: nice head, dark brown color,slight lacing

Smell: hoppy, honey and malt smell

Taste: sweetness and slight hops

Mouthfeel: smooth and very English

Drinkability: This is like every other Heavy Seas Beer easy to drink and easy to drink more then one

ejimhof, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of BARFLYB
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap

Number five holds a burnt copperish brown color that's resembles a very dark lager. Just a bit of foam on the top of this off a tap. LAce does not cling well leaving a loose spider web design. Smells like a bigger version of a simple style. It's mainly sweet malty with caramel and some mild spicing. The hops give off a scent that's faint but not dead. This is pretty good stuff. Minimal holiday spices with just a sense of hop bitterness in the end. I really cant say that though cause the hops really don't come in at all. The feel is smooth going down with no sight of the alcohol and the carb seems muted, it works well, this is easy drinking. Medium bodied. This is nothing more than a lightly spiced simple beer with a great feel. Sometimes less is more.

BARFLYB, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a dark aged copper body that is crystal clear with a thick creamy head that is light tan but last and last , sticking to the sides when it settles. This beer has a gentle carbonation with no sign of yeast.

S- This beer has a deep green dark hops note with a fresh malt note with some light toasted qualities. The aroma is big with the hop blending nicely with the malt complexity.

T- This beer has a big hops flavor on the first few sips that dominate the flavor. Then the softer sweet pale malt and caramel malt flavors come through with a hint of dry toasted malt in the background. The hops flavors continues dominates the finish nicely.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture and a faint alcohol presents that is not really a head but smoothes out the sweetness very nicely.

D- This beer has a big hops that overpower the malts a bit but both are big fresh flavors. This is a strong ESB and the best, and only, Imperial ESB, I have had.

rhoadsrage, Jan 17, 2007
Photo of Zorro
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 Oz bottle Sampled through the efforts of SS 05 BIF and Meathookjones.

A careful pour in to the glass reveals a dark for the style DIPA. Pours a clear copper red colored ale with no real head formation.

Smell is dark malt and strong hop aromas. Slightly sour smelling with mostly citrus aromas and a slight pine aroma. The alcohol fumes carry pepper and bitter orange scents.

Taste is sweet and mildly bitter at the beginning. This DIPA stays smooth through out the glass and never gets into the harshness zone. The hops get quite woody very fast here and make for a mellow and dry DIPA with a minimal grapefruit and pine flavor. Strongly herbal flavored ale.

Mouthfeel is good.

This very drinkable strong IPA, strong enough to numb your tongue this just doesn't taste that strong. This is in the same class as a dry English bitter in pleasantness to drink.

Zorro, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of jdhilt
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Nice clear amber color. Mix of hops and malt nose. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is almost sweet caramel with the hops balancing. Better than an ESB - brewer calls this an imperial ESB which fits. $2.00 for a 12oz bottle from Tullys Beer & Wine Wells, Me. Best before Mar 2009.

jdhilt, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated best by April 09'.

A. Poured into a clean pint glass. Stunning amber with a soapy off white head that sticks around for some lace.

S. A malty and floral nose with just a hint of citrus. Strong bready and earthy notes fill the room.

T. Honey like malt sweetness paired with some brutal earthy pine/grapefruit hop. The malt needs to be very sweet to combat the hop onslaught and does a good job at that but could have used more character. Actually as it warms some roasted malt pulls through and is nice, watch the serving temp. on this one. Probably the most kick ass tasty ESB I've had.

M. Pretty decent overall mouthfeel, creamy yet abrasive to the palate. Smooth yet harsh. Lingering sweet hop on the tongue.

D. This is an extreme ESB and I like it alot.

Stinkypuss, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev +5%

BillRoth, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of smakawhat
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Good till February 2012 we are off and running.

A real nice dark amber red and clear body, with a nice simple off tan caramel three finger head. Pin head sized bubbles, some fairly large in the head, with a small cap and some good retention. There might be some small haze in this, kind of dark to see.

Nice very mild chocolate sense from the malt, but fairly small nose. Not too much going on, but it's nice when taking a big whiff.

A very noticeable hop bitter, with a good mix in milk chocolatey malt sensations. Palate feels fairly hoppy but not so rich. Aftertaste brings some pine sense, and there's some definite prickly feelings. Not big on alcohol taste, but very stomach winter warmer boozy feeling.

Overall described as earthy, but doesn't feel like that so much to me. It is a real nice drink but definitely hop forward for this style. I think if you are a bit of a hop head and want to try and ESB this might be your perfect beer.

smakawhat, Nov 12, 2011
Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale) from Heavy Seas Beer
86 out of 100 based on 840 ratings.